Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Holy Trinity Sunday

Masaccio, The Holy Trinity with Virgin Mary, St John and donors fresco 
Santa Maria Novella, Florence 

"God chose us in Him before creation, that we should be holy and immaculate in His presence, in love"(Eph 1:4.) 
The Holy Trinity created us in its image, according to the eternal design that it possessed in its bossom before the world was created, in this beginning without beginning of which Bosuet speaks following St John: "In principio erat Verbum" (John 1:1). In the beginning was the Word; and we could add: in the beginning was nothing, for God in His eternal solitude already carried us in His thought. The Father contemplated Himself in the abyss of His fecundity, and by the very act of comprehending Himself He engendered another person, the Son. His eternal Word. The archetype of all creatures who had not yet issued out of the void eternally dwelt in Him, and God saw them and contemplated them in their type Himself. This eternal life which our archetypes possessed without us in God, is the cause of our creation.
Our created essence asks to be rejoined with its principle. The Word, the Splendour of the Father, is the eternal archetype after which creatures are designed on the day of their creation. This is why God wills that, freed from ourselves, we should stretch our arms towards our exemplar and possess it, rising above all things towards our model. This contemplation opens the soul to unexpected horizons.In a certain manner it possesses the crown towards which it aspires. The immense riches that God possesses by nature, we may possess by virtue of true love, by His dwelling in us and by our dwelling in Him. It is by virtue of this immense love that we are drawn into the depths of the intimate sanctuary where God imprints on us a true image of His majesty. Thus it is, thanks to love and through love, as the Apostle says, that we can be holy and immaculate in God's presence (Eph 1:4), and can sing with David: I will be unblemished and I will guard myself from the depths of sinfulness within me.(Ps 17:24)
Bl Elisabeth of the Trinity, Prayer One, Day Seven, Collected works, vol 1


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Feast of the Pentecost


                  St Teresa of Avila's Vision of the Holy Spirit by Peter Paul Rubens


I desire nothing but to love You...In this love - besides everything else - there is greater security than with earthly loves; in loving God we are certain that he loves us. Remember here, my daughters, the gain there is in this love, and the loss in not having it.  
(St Teresa, Collected works, vol.2) 






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Monday, May 18, 2015

Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD



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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified canonized today by Pope Francis.

Today, Pope Francis canonized Bl Miriam Baouardy, Little Arab, also known for her religious name as Mary of Jesus Crucified. She was a Discalced Carmelite nun, professed at Carmel of Pau, France, in 1867. To read more about her life click here and here



"Lord, I adore your word. The earth will pass away, but Your word will never pass away. Mary, my mother, come to my help! Everyone cry out with me: Jesus, wake up! Lord, I accept all that You will. Love, O love, You are not known!" 

"I unite myself to Jesus when He was carrying His cross in the streets Of Jerusalem. May You be blessed my God. I unite my voice with that of Jesus in the garden of olives. May You be blessed, my God. I unite sufferings to those of Jesus betrayed by Judas. May You be blessed, my God. I unite myself to Jesus falling under the weight of the cross. May You be blessed, my God" 

"Holy Spirit inspire me. Love of God, consume me. Along the true road, lead me. Mary, my mother, look upon me. With Jesus bless me. From all evil, from all illusion, From all danger, preserve me."

After "Drink of the Stream, Prayers of Carmelites"


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St Simon Stock

Today is the Feast of St Simon Stock, who was an Englishman and lived in the thirteen century. He became the prior general of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford, Kent. Our Lady appeared to St Simon Stock on 15th July, 1251, and giving him the brown scapular she told him that "this shall be to thee and all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire". Carmelites always venerated St Simon Stock for his personal holiness and his great devotion to Our Lady. He died in Bordeaux in the mid-thirteen century.


Flos Carmeli is the prayer attributed to St Simon Stock: 

Flower of Carmel, 
Tall vine blossom laden; 
Splendour of heaven 
Child-bearing, yet maiden. 
None equals thee 

Mother so tender, 
Whom no man did know, 
On Carmel's childern
Thy favours bestow. 
Star of the Sea. 

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
Who serve thee there.

Purest of lilies,
That flower among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
And trusts in thee.

Strongest of armour,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press'd in the fight,
We called to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
Who turn to thee.

O gentle mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
And now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With the glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
True joy to see. 


After "Drink of the Streat, Prayers of Carmelites"

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Ascension of Our Lord


Ascension is the feast of joyful hope, a foretaste of heaven. We are rising our hearts toward heaven, so that we may begin to dwell in spirit where Jesus had gone before us as we pray the beautiful prayer in the liturgy today: "Grant, O almighty God, that we, too, may dwell in spirit in the heavenly mansions" (Collect).  St Leo says: "Christ's Ascension is our own ascension; our body has the hope of one day  being where its glorious Head has preceded it" (Roman Breviary). In fact, Our Lord had already said in His discourse after Last Supper: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself; that where I am, you also may be" (John 14:2,3). By going before us, Jesus our Head has given us the right to follow Him there some day for "in the person of Jesus, we have penetrated the heights of heaven" (St Leo RB). As in Christ Crucified we die to sin, as in the risen Christ we rise to the life of grace, so too, we are raised up to heaven in the Ascension of Christ. Our right to heaven has been given to us, our place is ready; it is for us to live in such a way that we may occupy it some day, for Christ says: "Where thy treasure  is, there is thy heart also" (Mt 6:21).

Let us thank Our Lord for all He has done for us and love Him with our imperfect love as much as we can. Let us express our gratitude and love with beautiful words of St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi: "O my God, O my Jesus, You are going away and leaving us! Oh! what joy there will in heaven! But we have to remain here on earth. O eternal Word, what has Your creature done for You, that You should do so much for him and then ascend into heaven to glorify him even more? What has he given You? What do You look for in him? You love him so much that You give Yourself to him, You who are all things, and besides whom there is nothing. You want from him his entire will and intellect, because when he gives them to You, he gives You all that he has. O infinite Wisdom, O supreme Good, O Love, O Love so little known, little loved, and possessed by so few! Oh! our ingratitude, cause of every evil! O Purity, so little known and so little desired! O my Spouse, now that You are in heaven, seated at the right hand of the eternal Father, create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me"


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